New online service for Lasting Power of Attorney
28th July 2020 by Beverley Randall
On 17 July 2020, the Office of the Public Guardian announced a new online tool, “Use a Lasting Power of Attorney”, which is to become available to Attorneys so that they may prove their status to act for their loved ones and those who have entrusted them to make decisions on their behalf. This will assist Attorneys in avoiding, what is often quite cumbersome and time consuming, provision of paperwork to banks, building societies and other such asset holders, healthcare providers and interested parties.
Currently, for an Attorney to make certain decisions for a loved one either in relation to their property, financial affairs or health, they would be involved in a process whereby interested parties request original documents and they need to provide the same, before taking any action or making the necessary decision. This process is often frustrating for Attorneys when decisions need to be made on behalf of a loved one quickly.
Following the registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Attorney will be sent an activation key to allow them to set up an online account with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once the account is set up a secure access code can be created, which the Attorney can then pass on to the various interested parties to give them access to an online summary and the ability to authenticate the holder of the document.
Nick Goodwin, Public Guardian for England and Wales, said:
“Our new digital service will ensure attorneys can make effective and efficient decisions when managing their loved ones’ affairs – without the delays a paper-based services can cause.”
According to Office of the Public Guardian, the new tool maintains existing checks, including to confirm whether someone is legitimate to act as an attorney and the powers they may be entitled to.
The new system has been tested by various stakeholders, including the Department for Work and Pensions and HSBC UK, who aim to use it to maintain services to their customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new tool will be available to new Lasting Powers of Attorney registered after 17 July 2020 and the Office of the Public Guardian are looking to extend it to those already registered in the near future.
If you would like any further information on this new service, or other matters relating to Powers of Attorney, please contact Kate Mansfield on 01202 755980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.